Pilot-scale supercritical carbon dioxide extraction and fractionation of wheat germ oil

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Abstract

There is a need for the development of new processing techniques to facilitate vegetable oil extraction and refining while sustaining the nutritional components naturally present in edible oils and reducing the adverse impact of oil processing on the environment. In this study supercritical carbon dioxide (SC−CO2) extraction and fractionation techniques were examined as alternative methods to obtain wheat germ oil (WGO) of high quality and purity. It was shown that the SC−CO2 extraction technique is effective in extraction of WGO. There was no significant difference in the FA composition of SC−CO2- and hexane-extracted WGO. Both hexane-and SC−CO2-extracted WGO were rich in α-tocopherol. Moisture content of the SC−CO2-extracted oil was higher than that of the hexane-extracted oil. Solvent/feed ratio had a significant effect on the SC−CO2 extraction yields. This study demonstrated that supercritical fluid fractionation was a viable process to remove FFA efficiently from both hexane-and SC−CO2-extracted WGO while retaining bioactive oil components in the final product.